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21st March 2017, Heiligenkreuz

Lenzing expands Tencel production capacities

The Lenzing Group is expanding production capacities for its specialty fibre Tencel at its site in Heiligenkreuz, Burgenland. The ground-breaking ceremony was attended by Lenzing CEO Stefan Doboczky, along with Bernd Zauner and Dieter Eichinger, the two managing directors of Lenzing Fibers, Burgenland’s Provincial Governor Hans Niessl and Alexander Petschnig, the Regional Minister for Economic Affairs.

“We will invest about EUR 70 million over the coming twelve-month period to expand production capacities for our high-quality botanic specialty fibres,” said Doboczky.

Up until now, Lenzing has invested a total of roughly EUR 750 million to build and extend production capacities for Tencel fibres. © Lenzing

“With this investment we are responding to strong global demand for new types of Tencel premium fibres such as the Refibra fibre, using cotton scraps from the manufacturing of cotton garments and wood as raw materials. This fibre makes a widely-recognized contribution to the circular economy in the textile industry. The fibre was very successfully launched on the market in February by our strategic partner Inditex in its Zara stores.”

Production capacities

Annual production capacities for fibres will be increased by about 25,000 tonnes as a result of the investment. The fibres will be available to customers starting at the end of the first quarter of 2018.

“We launched the production of lyocell fibres in Heiligenkreuz 20 years ago, and have expanded the site to make it to one of the largest industrial employer in Southern Burgenland. The new investments comprise a further important milestone in our success story, and will provide added impetus to growth in a structurally weak region,” said Zauner.

Economic effects

Lenzing put its first industrial-scale lyocell fibre production facility into operation 20 years ago. Today, the fibres are sold under the Tencel brand name. A recent study carried out under the scientific supervision of Friedrich Schneider, Professor at Johannes Kepler University in Linz, concluded that the Lenzing plant in Heiligenkreuz generates considerable regional economic effects.

In addition to the approximately 230 jobs at Lenzing Fibers itself, around 940 additional jobs are secured on a long-term basis thanks to the company’s economic activities in the region. The additional value creation equals about EUR 102 million per year, the company reports.

Heiligenkreuz plant

In its 20-year history, the Heiligenkreuz plant has sold close to 700,000 tonnes of fibres and exported the majority across the globe, as far away as China, Korea and Japan. The factory in Heiligenkreuz has been continuously expanded due to rapidly growing demand.

Up until now, Lenzing has invested a total of roughly EUR 750 million to build and extend production capacities for Tencel fibres. In addition to the Heiligenkreuz facility, these specialty fibres are also manufactured at the Lenzing site, in Mobile, US, and Grimsby, UK.

The lyocell technology applied in Heiligenkreuz is characterised by a very good environmental performance. The cellulose fibres are derived from the renewable raw material wood in a closed-loop process, resulting in a minimal amount of environmentally harmful emissions. Due to their outstanding properties, Tencel fibres boast a particularly broad range of applications, both in the world of fashion, as well as technical areas and nonwovens.

www.lenzing.com

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